We catch up with award-winning singer Tom Odell, to chat about his incredible career to date and all things festive.


Hi Tom. You’re currently on tour. How’s it going?
Yeh, great. We’ve been touring now since the end of September, so we’ve done a lot of shows. It’s taken us, the band and I, all the way around America and now around the UK and around Europe, so it’s great. It’s where I love to be. I love to be on tour.

For your music, where do you get your inspiration from?
Well, I think from lots of things. From stuff I experience and life as a 25-year-old. I read quite a lot, so lyrics are very inspired by literature. It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly drives me to do it, but I seem to do it anyway.

Artist-wise, is there anyone that you’d love to work with?
Yeah, maybe like Lorde or someone like that. I think that she’d be good. I haven’t done a lot of it but I think it’s always the one you least expect that you really bond with. I did a show the other day and actually, Kevin [Spacey], cos he was in my video, he came out and sang Mr Bojangles in Washington with me. He’s an incredible singer, Kevin Spacey and that was a really interesting experience. He’s great and I really enjoyed doing that with him.

What’s been your highlight of 2016?
Well we just did two absolutely incredible shows at Brixton. I don’t know what it is about it, but Brixton Academy has got this wonderful warmth to it and the crowds are always so brilliant. It was amazing to do two nights there and they were both rammed, right up to the back door. It was an incredible experience and so nice to have two albums to play to people. It feels more real and I know a lot of people came back from coming to the first album tour.

As well as finishing your tour, what else have you got planned for next year?
Well I’m very excited about a duet coming out and we’re doing a bit more touring. Actually, we’re doing a bit more touring in Europe in February and March. Then we’ll probably do a load of festivals in the summer, but I want to record another album pretty quickly. I’ve been writing a lot. I’m looking forward to Christmas though, cos we’ve been non stop this year and it’s going to be nice to have like a proper week off and be able to let my hair down a little bit.

Do you have any style icons and if so, who are they?
Do I have any style icons? I find myself staring at David Bowie’s style on Instagram a lot. The man was a connoisseur of fashion. But style is, what’s that famous quote about style? “It’s not what you wear, it’s the way you wear it.” I think men’s style is being a good gentleman and apart from that, I’m not really, sure what makes a great outfit to be honest with you. But, wear it well and hold a few doors open for people.

What is your favourite bit about Christmas?
Well I think for me and I’m sure for a lot of people, I don’t get that much time to see my family at all throughout the year and I haven’t seen them a lot this year. So I really like the fact that everyone is able to come together and spend some time together and catch up. It’s nice because it’s the one time of year that I really turn my phone off and not worry about a show. I love Christmas and I really am a sucker for it. I love the films, I love the songs, I love everything about it.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?
Well there’s just so many, but I think weirdly there’s a bit in Home Alone and I used to watch it every Christmas. I’d always watch Home Alone. There’s a bit in it where he goes to the church and the choir is singing, Oh, Holy Night. I love that song so much. When I was a young teenager, well actually, a bit younger than that, I was sort of forced to sing in a choir and I hated it so much. Now, listening to that song, it reminds me of that time and looking back, I did enjoy it more than I let on. I’m not a particularly religious person, but there’s something beautiful about that song. I think it’s the chords and the melody. 

How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
I’m going to see my family. It should be nice.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?
Well this year, we’re doing a Secret Santa. So it has to be under £20 and I only have to buy one present. So, suffice to say, it’s quite easy. We sound like a really stingy family, but actually I recommend it to everyone.

When will you be putting your Christmas lights and decorations up?
I don’t know. When everyone else does, like early December. I’ll peak out of my window and see if anyone’s got theirs up yet. My cat Louis loves climbing Christmas trees, so last year was a bit of a nightmare cos there were pine needles everywhere.

How do you feel about performing at this year’s Regents Street lights switch on?
You know, I’m really excited about it.  It should be really festive and I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks Tom!

Tom Odell performed at the Regent Street switch-on event on Thursday 17th November.

Tom Odell's second studio album Wrong Crowd is out now. For more information, visit tomodell.com

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